UnknownI can’t believe how fast our time in Active House flew by, there was so much I was going to do. Blogs to write, unexplored corners of Toronto to discover, and of course the list of “I’ll organize the girls clothes as we have the space to spread it all out” or “I’ll mend all those leggings as my evenings will be free from the mundane tasks”. As you can probably predict, these things did not happen to the extent in which I had imagined. Yes, I wrote a few blogs and surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the process. We did explore new areas of Toronto, but realized that parks were more suited to our wandering children than the neighbourhoods and boutiques we had planned out. And as for my productivity …… well, it was like I treated myself to a long vacation in a fancy home-stay. Of course now that we’ve moved back to Dundas I both regret the time I spent lounging on the giant sofa as the clothes still need organizing and the leggings still need mending but I also think longingly back to those relaxing and lazy evenings spent on that giant sofa reading a book!

 IMG_0485We’ve only been out of Active House for two weeks, but it almost feels like it never was. A mystical time spent in a land of endless space, windows and closets …. a place I can barely remember, or maybe for my sanity I have temporarily forgotten, as I try to weave a path between cardboard boxes, children, toys and construction debris. I find that moving back to Dundas has left me wondering. I love love love being back in a small, friendly, picturesque downtown where I can walk both kids to the same school, walk to the library, the community pool, the local free kids programming, coffee shop, park .. everything! But the lack of sky from the windows of our victorian semi has me wondering about our valley location. Sure the way-way-way smaller home has its challenges, kinda like squeezing into your favourite pair of skinny jeans after living in yoga bottoms for two weeks of Christmas vacation! But when I’m not feeling overwhelmed by the task of finding space to unpack all those boxes, I am invigorated by the opportunity to purge. Give it away, toss it, sell it has basically been my answer to everything Russ has found in the basement. I find the challenge of living small exciting, and there’s no better time to downsize your belongings than during a move.

 Home ownership seems to be, at least for us, a series of compromises and our experience in Active House Centennial Park both reinforces the decisions we have made in our life yet manages to leave questions open and unanswerable. Location or Space? For me its location, that is what makes my life enjoyable. Having never had the luxury of space before, I thought that would be the sure-fire winner after six months in a house that actually has closets. And not just one closet, a closet in every room!! However I found that being back in Dundas has me spending more days out in the community than at home and we are all spending more time playing outside. It could be because we are once again living on top of one another in a smaller house that no longer provides us with ample daylight, circulating fresh air and views of treetops and sky? But then I have to ask, is that such a bad thing? I would prefer my kids to be out in the yard getting dirty than playing inside but I would also prefer better views of the sky and daylight from my windows. I think this is a question too complicated and multifaceted to answer simply. I love Active House and the principles it stands for, I would gladly live in one again (hint hint) but I think for my real life, I will have to embrace living small and enjoy the daylight, fresh air and views from outside rather than from the comfort of a giant sofa.